AstroWorld Festival Lawsuits Filed Over Injuries, Deaths Suffered By Concertgoers
At least two lawsuits have already been filed over safety lapses at the AstroWorld Festival this past weekend, which led to the deaths of eight people, and caused dozens of others to suffer injuries.
On Friday, a stampede in the audience at the AstroWorld Festival in Houston turned the concert into a tragedy, during a performance by rapper Travis Scott. Concertgoers were trampled and their pleas for help and to stop the show were reportedly ignored, as Scott’s performance went on for another 40 minutes, despite the crowd chanting “stop the show!”
One of the AstroWorld Festival lawsuits was filed by Kristian Paredes, of Austin, naming Scott, the rapper Drake, Live Nation Entertainment, Inc., and Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation as the defendants. The complaint was brought in Harris County District Court days after the concert, indicating that Paredes was crushed by the crowd while at the front of the general admission section, resulting in severe personal injuries.
“As ‘Travis Scott’s’ performance started shortly after 9 p.m., when the countdown on stage ended, Kristian Paredes felt an immediate push. The crowd became chaotic and a stampede began leaving eight dead and dozens including Kristian Paredes severely injured. Many begged security guards hired by Live Nation Entertainment for help, but were ignored.”
Another lawsuit, also filed in Texas state court by Manuel Souza, also names Scott, Live Nation and other defendants as responsible for injuries he suffered in the AstroWorld Festival stampede as well.
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Lawsuits are being pursued by concertgoers over serious safety problems that resulted in injuries.
Various media reports have highlighted a number of warning signs and safety problems that were ignored before the concert began. A CNN affiliate shot video showing people knocking down metal detectors and ignoring security staff warnings as they rushed through a VIP entrance before the festival got underway. In addition, according to a report by the New York Times, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner warned Scott before the concert began that the “energy in the crowd” could be dangerous.
Participants in the crowd of 50,000 say the stampede began building up as a countdown timer ticked down to the start of the concert. As the timer got closer to indicating the start of the show, the crowd began to surge worse and worse, with concertgoers indicating that it began to be difficult to breathe, and those who fell got trampled.
The audience reportedly made numerous efforts to warn staff there was a problem, including climbing platforms to camera operators and alerting them to the issues. They say they were just shooed away.
Police declared a “mass casualty event” at 9:38, and it took at least two minutes to get to the first victims, according to reports, meaning many of the injured and dead were left on the ground for 40 minutes.
While Scott has released a statement indicating that he is devastated by the incident, and did not know fully what was going on, he reportedly stopped the show several times to indicate people might need help. However, he continued on with his performance.
Both Scott and Live Nation have a history of problems, lawsuits and safety violations stemming from previous concerts, including at least 10 OSHA safety violations leveled against Live Nation from 2016 to 2019. Live Nation was also hit by a lawsuit linked to a 2016 Gwen Stefani concert where an concertgoer’s leg was broken during a stampede.
Scott has also gotten into trouble over previous concerts, including a 2017 concert where he was arrested for encouraging fans to rush the stage, which resulted in several injuries at a concert in Arkansas. He was also sentenced to a year of court supervision after a 2015 concert in Chicago at a Lollapalooza festival where he reportedly incited attendees to jump over the security barricades.
It is likely these are the first of a wave of lawsuits over the deadly incident to be filed by those injured in the crush, and the families of those who were killed, who ranged in age from 14 to 27.